Sleep is for the WEAK!

… and the very, very lucky.

The holidays pretty much destroyed what few sleep habits Lyra had developed to date, and the first two weeks back at work became a huge challenge. We were able to get her to bed, but she would wake up often, and after midnight all she wanted was to nurse in her sleep. Let me tell you, that begins to chafe a bit after a while. I’ve been spending most nights in her room with her, and when I try to cut the nursing in her sleep off she would have screaming fits of rage and frustration. It drives you to drink.

To complicate matters, about a week and a half ago I went to visit family, and shortly after Lyra’s nap she woke up, nursed, and promptly threw up all over me. It was extremely unpleasant. This was followed by five days straight of tossing her cookies around 3am (although she also managed to throw up twice on her uncle Jordy as well). There were five nights in a row where I was sleeping with her, she woke up, coughed, and cookies were tossed all over me, her bed, or the floor. That’s five nights straight of combination epic nursing and using me as a soother (ow) followed by sickness. The weird part was, in between she seemed perfectly fine: happy, energetic, no fever. We couldn’t figure out what was wrong. She absolutely loved those 3am bathtimes. I wasn’t as big of a fan.

The daycare told us that nearly all the kids had it, and no one knew what it was.

And then Adam got sick. Although it manifested itself a bit differently, we are pretty sure he caught the same thing that Lyra had brought home from the daycare. He was sick for a good week, bad enough to stay home from work. I took Lyra to the doctor, who didn’t really know what was up and told us to wait and see how it worked itself out. That was Wednesday, and on Thursday the daycare sent notice home that the kids and many staff members had the Norwalk Virus. Joy of joys.

I still hadn’t fallen sick, at least not of the virus, but I had reached a point of exhaustion that I don’t think I’ve felt in years. Between Lyra waking up every couple of hours and having screaming fits or throwing up on me, and trying to hold things together at home with a sick husband on top if it, I could barely think anymore. In my weakened state, I caught a small cold – sniffles and sinuses, but thankfully no tossing of cookies.

By Thursday, though, Lyra was better. Adam was still not really well until Sunday. And I’m still just tired and sniffly.

After yet another night of Lyra having tantrums because I didn’t let her nurse nonstop, we had to figure out another sleep plan. I read the No-Cry Sleep Solution a month or two ago, and decided to take some ideas from it and see if I could piece together a plan for convincing the little girl that sleep is not the enemy. Last night was an initial attempt at implementing it. The main problem is that in order to get some sleep, I usually lie down in Lyra’s room with her when she wakes up. I’ll try to stay awake so that when she falls asleep I can climb back into my own bed, but I mostly lose that fight and the night passes. She sleeps longer when she has someone in bed with her. I can’t entirely blame her – I sleep better with someone else in bed too.

When I fall asleep in those times when I’m trying so hard to stay awake, I sleep terribly. I’m restless and I have bad dreams and I wake up frequently because I really want to climb back into my own bed. It makes me cranky sometimes. The grand plan (as it stands right now) is to get her back to sleep without lying down with her, which sounds simple enough. Unfortunately for me it means that she wakes up more frequently, so last night went something like this:

Asleep on the floor9:00pm Lyra’s bedtime
11pm 1st wake-up, back to sleep in 10 minutes.
My bedtime was somewhere between these.
12:30am 2nd wake-up, back to sleep in 15 minutes
1:30am 3rd wake-up, back to sleep in 15 minutes
3:00am 4th wake-up, back to sleep in 10 minutes
4:30am 5th wake-up, back to sleep in 20 minutes (I think I may have dozed off with her this time. It’s hazy.)
6:00am 6th wake-up, back to sleep in 10 minutes
7:00am I had to actually wake her up to go to daycare. She would sleep till 8am happily at this point.

(note: Back to sleep means she fell deeply enough asleep that I could leave without waking her. She’s pretty touchy at the best of times.)

Now that I’m looking at the list, it’s a bit scary. The longest stretch of sleep it seems I got last night was an hour and a half. No wonder I felt like a zombie at work all day. The sleep I did get, however, was deep and felt truly restful. It was in my own bed, and it was comfortable and cozy and under my down duvet.

What makes last night a success to at least a small degree was the complete lack of tantrums, and the fact that I somehow settled her reasonably quickly and still managed to go back to my own room. In theory, she’ll start to sleep for longer and longer, until eventually she sleeps through the night… whatever that means.

Yeah, my girl, she’s not so into the sleeping thing. I plan to keep track of the awakenings for the next while (however long I can keep it up I guess) to see if there’s any improvement. If there isn’t… well, I have no idea what to do next. I’ll worry about if it comes to that. I’ll just be happy to see her return to her old 3-hour sleeping spans. Five hours would be amazing.


  • meisterdorf

    January 19, 2010 at 7:03 am

    she is so cute, of course, she takes after her mommy

    happy new year!

  • Jenny Lee Silver

    January 19, 2010 at 7:07 am

    It’s true! I’d rather be awake too, I might miss something if I sleep! 😉

  • sharolyn

    January 19, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Oh maaaan that sounds brutal. Iz and I both had the flu last week, and it was awful, but at least she slept through the night! Hope it gets better soon…

  • mithoviel

    January 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Yikes…that schedule looks rough for a stay-at-home mom, and for someone who has to go to work the following day it looks like a nightmare.

    It looks like she has Eddie Munster’s widow’s peak in that photo!

    I hope you get some rest.

  • Jenny Lee Silver

    January 22, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Last night was better! Not sleeping through the night yet, but progress is good.

  • Jenny Lee Silver

    January 22, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Thanks… I did better last night. That pic’s from May or so of last year, and her hair was just starting to get long… it did that munster thing all the time 😉